Canoe Island

September 17, 2017 by Adam in Berry

Berry and Joanna have returned from Canoe Island, where all 5th graders of Charlemagne go.  It's one of the few French camps, built back in 1969 on an island off the coast of Washington.  Though Berry had mixed feelings about it, there were moments when Joanna reported they had a great time.  There was fencing, swimming, theater, paddle boarding, canoing through bioluminescent algae, and singing the American, French, and Canadian national anthem twice a day as they raised and lowered the flags.  They slept in tipis and ate French food.  Lots of pictures were taken.

Both Joanna and Berry are worn out and mostly just took it easy today.  It's nice having them back.

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Virtual Adventures

September 14, 2017 by Adam in Adam's Games

We went to a place in town called multiVRse, which has a bunch of Vive VR headsets you can rent by the hour.  I took Sam and Duncan for our first VR experience.  

I think we were all somewhat flabbergasted by the experience.  Pretty quickly we forgot we were in what was essentially an office.  Soon we were petting robot dogs, firing bows at cartoon people invading our castle, and practicing robot repair in a Portal-themed universe.  Afterward we tried out Rec Room and went on an adventure with swords, bows, and giant roman candles, clearing out a cartoon forest of cartoon monsters.  The multiplayer aspect was pretty cool, watching the others dodge fireballs or crouch on the floor firing bows.  We finished up our hour playing paintball.  Duncan wants to go back again this Saturday for more.

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Batty Mid Week Update

September 13, 2017 by Adam in Family

Berry and Joanna are off at Canoe Island for the rest of the week.  I think they're all doing okay, though Joanna's sleeping arrangements aren't quite ideal.  In the meantime, Duncan, Sam and I are holding down the fort.  Yesterday Duncan arrived from school, made himself a snack, did his homework, and managed himself pretty much all the way through bedtime.  Sam and I went food shopping, made burritos, and played some video games before bedtime.

I did discover that this funny scratching noise wasn't a mouse as I suspected, but rather a bat that had ended up inside an empty cardboard box next to Joanna's desk.  No idea if it was the same one as before.  I set the box outside and tipped it so the bat could easily crawl out.  It was gone in the morning.


September 12, 2017 by Adam in Sam

I took Sam on his first driving lesson today.  We headed up to the LCC parking lot and he managed to start the car, back up and start going around in circles.  He quickly picked up how to stop without a jerk, mostly turn without hitting curbs, and towards the end managed to pass a car moving in the opposite lane without incident.  Next time I'm thinking I'll take him to a quiet neighborhood and drive around.  So far, so good.

He also helped me move a broken washing machine to Lowe's, didn't complain when they took over an hour to bring us the new one, and helped me install the new one.  I always hoped they'd eventually become useful.

Monday Again

September 11, 2017 by Adam in Family

It's a pleasant Monday morning, though the smoke has returned somewhat after a couple wet days.  The kids all went off to school, other than Sam who went to work at my mom's this morning.  I'm stealing him away this afternoon for his first driving lesson in the parking lot of LCC.  It brings back memories of dad using his calm dentist voice with me when I learned to drive, his hand on the emergency brake the whole time.  Later I'm hoping we can go to a place called MultiVRse, which lets you rent VR hardware.  Sam's never really tried, and I'm still on the fence as to whether or not it's worth getting one eventually.

The weekend was generally pleasant.  Sam and Emma spent the night at Jamie's on Friday, leaving Joanna and I to go out to a new Indian food place.  It was the one that replaced Taste of India and had been open for four days.  The wait was pretty bad, but the food was good and the company was pleasant.

Saturday was the usual mix of doing house chores, playing games, and making pizza.  Sunday I helped Emma with homework, getting settled into her Honors English and computer class.  I also signed her up for a Geometry class through BYU, hoping it helps get her into Biology for winter term.  Sam, Emma, and I also headed to Mount Pisgah to walk around for a while.  The evening wrapped up with mom and Guillaume coming for dinner.  We played some Crawl afterward, a semi-coop dungeon crawl where you alternate being the hero and the monsters.

As for this week, Joanna and Berry leave early tomorrow morning for Canoe Island.  Hopefully I can keep Duncan, Sam, and I alive for five days.  Otherwise the week should be pretty quiet, though I need to help coordinate a washing machine replacement tomorrow.  I'll miss those two - hopefully they have a good time on their adventure.

Sick Mocha Friday

September 08, 2017 by Adam in Family

Both Joanna and I have been feeling under the weather lately.  Joanna's theory is that it's related to the fires, I'm leaning towards viral.  Regardless, we've both been dragging and I ended up napping for a couple hours this afternoon.  We finally got some rain which has cleared out most of the smoke.

The rest of the family seem to be doing well.  Sam continues to work away for my mom.  He got his school laptop and he's getting ready for school starting soon.  Emma's getting used to high school.  I rescued her from orientation, as they got out early and she missed the bus.  Sam's been great helping her settle into her classes - I think she's doing okay.  

Duncan and Berry are getting back into the swing of things.  Berry has Guillaume as their class intern.  He reports Berry's accent is very good.  Joanna and Berry are headed to Canoe Island next week - hopefully that's a fun adventure and I manage to hold down the fort while they're gone.

Life continues on.  I'm trying to find a good time to take Sam out to practice driving.  Guillaume has been coming over for dinner and we've played a lot of games afterward.  Joanna and I are going out for a date tonight, which I look forward to.

Class of 2021

September 06, 2017 by Adam in Emma

Emma had her high school orientation at South today.  She says it wasn't great, but was generaly informational - they got a Class of 2021 t-shirt and a planner.  She met with her teachers and found her classes.  She said good things about her computer and algebra teachers, so I hope that'll all work out.

There was some excitement when they let Emma out early and she just missed the bus.  She started walking back and then called me.  I got to be her "guy in the chair" and started to lead her home before I realized it was faster for me to drive the two minutes and pick her up.  I dropped her off at Jamie's house and bid my farewells.

Tomorrow is her first day of actual classes.  Hopefully it all goes well.

Weekend Wasteland

September 05, 2017 by Adam in Family

The nearby forest fires have been keeping Eugene full of smoke at hazardous levels.  It has a very post apocalyptic feel, with people wearing respirators when they head outside.  I shut myself indoors for the last couple days as I started getting asthma after the first day.  Sadly it doesn't look like the fires will end any time soon.

The last few days were generally fairly productive.  Friday night Joanna and I went out for dinner.  Saturday morning I fed everyone a hearty breakfast of vegan and non-vegan dutch babies.  Sam, Berry, and I rode down to the U of O campus so that Sam would get a feel as to where his classes are.  It was the first day I really noticed the smoke and started coughing a bit.

We spent the afternoon indoors, playing games and later eating pizza and watching Adam Ruins Everything.  Sam and I played a silly physics simulator called Human Fall Flat and we all played Overcooked at various times, honing our co-op cooking skills.  Sam and I did assemble a garden shed, but the smoke was pretty bad and it's not entirely finished.  Guillaume came over to enjoy our pizza culture in return for his help in Overcooked.

Sunday was more hang out time with the kids, making sure Emma was ready for school.  That evening we had a big family dinner, including Jamie, Jenny, Jordan, Yayoe, John, and my mom.  Afterwards most of us went to an engagement party for Bob's daughter Anna.  For whatever reason the smoke didn't seem so bad, despite the outdoor setting.

Monday had most of the younger kids departing.  Emma left for her mom's house for clothes shopping.  Duncan went to the beach with a friend.  Berry got her hair dyed rainbow colors and headed off into the wasteland for an overnight visit with a friend.  We invited Guillaume over again where the adults of the house chatted and managed to unlock more Overcooked levels.  With age comes responsibility.

Mocha Friday

September 01, 2017 by Adam in Family

It's Friday and it feels as if we're getting the gang back together again.  Duncan showed me his Minecraft map he worked on.  Emma was showing off her retainer-free mouth.  Berry has been spending quality time with her computer and working on painting her nails.  There's a lot more to clean and many more people to cook for, but it's certainly exciting.

Last night Guillaume came over for dinner.  He and Sam got the chance to talk about video games and after dinner we piled on the couch and played Tee K-O, then later Overcooked when the little kids got ready for bed.  Guillaume had never played, but quickly became a key person in our kitchen, running around delivering hamburger ingredients while our kitchen tilted, cracked, and moved around in unexpected ways.

Joanna and I are going out on a date tonight.  Emma is going to the beach with her mom overnight.  We need to get school supplies for Duncan and Berry, and Sam and I both need haircuts.  Still, I think we're mostly on track for the start of school.

Getting Ready

August 31, 2017 by Adam in Family

It feels like a bunch of things are about to happen.  Emma gets her retainer off today.  4J schools start next week, including Emma starting high school.  Sam got his driver's permit yesterday.  This weekend he's planning on riding down to campus and finding all his classes.  I started my new Slate project and apparently I'm the lead developer, whatever that means.

I'm trying to get Emma into Biology next term, something I didn't quite do with Sam.  I met with the head of the science department and got a likely okay if she's up for taking an online geometry class.  I think that might work out okay - I'm happy to help her and she's strangely enjoyed other online classes in the past (such as learning German).

Poor Joanna looked pretty worn out last night.  Duncan and Berry continue to get bigger and more capable, though they still require quite a bit of work.  I think we're going to go babysitter-free this upcoming date night, especially as Sam and Emma will be around.

Guillaume, the french intern staying with my mom, is coming over for dinner tonight.  We chatted over pizza when Joanna was away earlier this week.  Apparently he's really into video games and philosophy, so he and Sam should have much to talk about.

Life feels busy at the moment, but hopefully we'll settle into the new routine in a month or so.

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